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USA Insider WWE Monday Night Raw

Dissecting the Up and Down Relationship Between WWE's Edge and Christian

Edge and Christian's WWE career paths have made their relationship unbreakable.

By Chris Phelan
Split image of Christian and Edge

If the WWE Universe thinks the history between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn is filled with twists, turns, backstabbings, and reunions, wait until we tell you all about the storied friendship between WWE Hall of Famer Edge and his on-again, off-again tag team partner, Christian.

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There haven't been many Superstars who found as much success as Edge and Christian. The duo captured the WWE Tag Team titles on seven separate occasions as a team and their singles accomplishments are even more impressive. Both men won solo titles throughout their careers, from the Intercontinental Championship to the various world titles. Their in-ring skills were never questioned – they had "it" as soon as they made their WWE debuts.

The story of Edge and Christian begins in September 1998 during one fateful episode of Monday Night RAW.

September 1998: When It All Began

Edge made his national television debut on RAW to a tepid reaction. In the era of larger-than-life Superstars, the WWE Universe didn't know what to expect from the lanky, handsome, blond-haired Edge upon his arrival. But that would soon change, courtesy of the debut of Edge's "brother," Christian, who cost Edge a win against Owen Hart thanks to a timely distraction.

In storyline terms, Christian was Edge's brother who followed him to WWE to follow in his footsteps. However, the WWE Universe wasn't interested in a retread of the iconic Bret/Owen Hart dynamic. The duo was soon packaged into a faction known as The Brood alongside the sinister wrestler, Gangrel. From that point forward, fans took notice of all three men of The Brood, especially Edge and Christian. While they would gain notoriety thanks to their unforgettable gothic-themed ring entrance and their habit of dumping buckets of blood on their opponents, the entire Brood act quickly wore thin. 

Edge and Christian were starting to grow out of being aligned with anybody other than themselves.

1999 – 2001: Conquering the WWE Tag Team Division

Reinventing their dynamic as tag team specialists, Edge and Christian found themselves in an enviable position as part of the hottest and most innovative tag team division in WWE history. Thanks to multiple matches against Dudley Boyz and the Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian quickly won over the affection of the WWE Universe. Soon enough, the three up-and-coming tag teams became known for their unbelievable ladder matches and all six men's careers became white-hot.

From that point forward, Edge and Christian stood for one thing: Excitement. The WWE Universe couldn't agree more. As the two men wrestled, the more respect they received from fans worldwide. The two Superstars were clearly destined for greatness and they lived up to that, capturing the tag team titles regularly. It was a competitive tag team scene back then, but Edge and Christian always figured out how to stay on top with decisive wins in multiple ladder matches. 

They were on top of the mountain for the first time in their careers. Of course, everyone knows that once you reach the top, there's only one direction left to go…

September 2001: The Betrayal

Alongside his success in the tag team division, Edge found himself with a unique opportunity in 2001, which he seized. He became the 2001 WWE King of the Ring. While the event isn't a regularly-occurring spectacle in present-day WWE, back in the early 2000s, winning King of the Ring meant you were pegged for greatness.

In a way, it was a precursor to winning Money in the Bank. It signified a Superstar was ready to take the next step in their career.

Unfortunately, Edge and Christian ultimately could not escape their comparisons to Bret and Owen Hart. On an episode of Monday Night RAW in 2001, Christian, overcome by jealousy over Edge's recent success in singles competition, viciously turned on Edge, attacking him with a steel chair to the head. In one violent moment, Christian effectively ended the friendship that the two had forged in battle over the years. The WWE Universe was rightfully caught off-guard by this development. 

2001 – 2011: The Duo Go Their Separate Ways

After Christian's shocking betrayal of Edge on Monday Night RAW, tensions obviously reached a point where not only was it clear to the WWE Universe that their vaunted tag team run was officially over, but their feud would have to lead to a match. Fittingly, at No Mercy 2001, the two met in a ladder match for Edge's Intercontinental Championship, a breathtaking match that ultimately saw Edge retain his title. For the next few years, the two Superstars must have seen the writing on the wall because they went down very separate paths in the world of professional wrestling, making new alliances and getting caught up in bitter rivalries without each other.

In 2005, Christian left WWE entirely, leaving Edge to fend for himself. Still, this was arguably the apex of Edge's career. By 2006, Edge was firmly entrenched in his "Rated-R Superstar" persona, capturing the WWE Championship multiple times and taking John Cena to the limit in countless classic matches.

Christian returned to WWE in 2009 and immediately went to work. He quickly won the ECW Championship, mirroring Edge's success with the World Heavyweight Championship at the time. While the two men didn't come to blows during this time, the WWE Universe could see there was still plenty of mutual respect, and simmering animosity, between the two.

2011 – 2020: Edge's Retirement Changes Everything

With both Superstars finding singles success away from each other, life found a way to interrupt the proceedings. 

On April 11, 2011, a teary-eyed Edge unexpectedly retired due to a severe neck injury. One year later, Christian was the man who inducted his best friend into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2012.

From that point forward, Christian had a new purpose: Make his friend proud. Christian went at it alone for the first time in his career and he made the most of his opportunity. Christian would achieve great success on his own, highlighted by an unforgettable feud against Randy Orton that gave the WWE Universe some of the greatest World Heavyweight Championship matches ever. Suffice it to say; we think Edge was beyond proud of what Christian accomplished. 

However, in the spring of 2014, Christian suffered a severe concussion, an injury that forced him into retirement as well. Once again, news of another Superstar's early retirement sent shockwaves throughout the WWE Universe. Unlike Edge, Christian did not get the chance to address the WWE Universe about his unfortunate retirement and he faded into the background, occasionally making spot appearances on television as host of his in-ring talk show, "The Peep Show." 

From that point forward, the WWE Universe had made peace with itself. Edge and Christian were gone and never coming back...

Until they came back.  

2020 – Present-Day: A Bond That Will Last Forever

Fortunately, both Superstars managed to make shocking returns from their injury-induced retirements. After receiving clean bills of health from their doctors, both men returned to WWE at the Royal Rumble – Edge in 2020, with Christian following the next year. 

At this point in their respective careers, Edge and Christian realized something the WWE Universe had known for over a decade: They would be intrinsically linked for the rest of their lives. Whether they were "brothers" in storyline terms, whether they were enemies, or whether they were winning tag team championships, their names would forever have the all-important word "and" in between them. 

It's not surprising that their friendship has reached the levels it has – it was the logical progression for their relationship ever since they started in pro wrestling in the Canadian independent scene. Clips like the one below, which show the two Superstars before Edge's surprise return in the 2020 Royal Rumble match, peel back the curtain and show how close the two men became after nearly 25 years of being in the business:

Looking back, the WWE Universe may have Edge and Christian to blame for the dysfunctional nature of the relationship between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn! After all, the Canadian duo laid the blueprint for how to flip the switch between hating and loving the other while respecting each other at every turn.

In 2023, Edge and Christian are once again on different paths. Edge is still looking for one more world championship to add to his collection before his inevitable retirement from pro wrestling. At the same time, Christian hasn't been seen on WWE television since January 2021, as it seems his Royal Rumble return didn't lead to him returning full-time to the WWE. 

However, as any fan knows, it's just a matter of time before one of the greatest tag teams – and friendships – in WWE history is reunited one last time. 

You can tune into Peacock to watch WWE's Money in the Bank on July 1. In the meantime, catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock as well.

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